Friday, April 29, 2011

Mid April Garden

First, the overview I promised. Actually, things are a lot more developed in just a few days in the squash/zucchini area and depleted in the lettuce and spinach areas due to a neighbor whom I caught pilfering my garden this afternoon. BUSTED!!! ;) All of those females opened with no males in sight. It's really rather odd. Could it be my soil mix? Do I need to fertilize more/less? Take a second and compare this to the April 1 garden. Awesome!!

I'm having a huge, HUGE problem with my beds splitting. This one is obviously splitting with a weed/grass growing from it, but I've got the side tomato box and the far horseradish box in this picture almost falling apart. It's conviction to build these with two inch and not one inch boxes.
Here's the horseradish box that's falling apart. Really trying to decide if I should try to salvage all of this or just rebuild with 2 inch boards....I just don't want to empty and refill. Last year I had such great success with cabbage. This year, it's all been fodder for cabbage worms. I don't have a single viable plant left. I haven't used BT, ever. Does it deter the worms or only kill them once they're there? That would make a big difference on if I try them in the fall again

Potatoes, both the regular - here in the pots - and the girl's purple ones are doing great. I'm really excited about these after having the potatoes last year. My problem is pulling them too soon because I'm impatient.

One if my garlic beds is still looking puny in comparison to the other, but this one seems to be growing an alien. I suppose it split down there somewhere. I never can remember - when DO I pull garlic?
And because I'm just so excited and I can't remember if I posted these or not, here are some Class of 2011 keychains that we're starting to sell to support my school's Relay for Life team. It's a pretty poor picture, but they say 2011. They make me smile.Well, garden fans, that's it. Hope I didn't overload you too much. If you can believe it, I took these pictures Tuesday and the plants look so much larger even today. Grow baby grow...male squash flowers if I can put in a request, please.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crazy Talk

I had a female zucchini open today!! No less than six more female squash and zucchini are looking like they'll open tomorrow.

However, there's not a male in sight which is crazy talk.

I've never had females open before males - let alone this many. The plants better not tap themselves out of females. I'll have a duck if they do.

Anyone know if there's a sperm bank for zucchini out there?

Took tons of pictures yesterday. I'll get those up really soon. The difference a month makes is amazing.

The morning comes early - especially when storms only seem to come at night. EG - hope you and your family are well. Sweet gardening dreams.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Veggie Pie!

I love veggie pie. Have I mentioned how much I love veggie pie? Never mind. I know I have. I like how it's so versitile that you can put whatever you want in it. This time I used up extra frozen brussle sprouts, zucchini from last year's garden and onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano and parsley from this year's garden.

Yes, I ate a piece of crust before I took the picture.

I love veggie pie!
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Sun Works Wonders

It's amazing what just two days of sun and warmth at night will do for your plants. I took these pictures this weekend and even since then you can tell the incredible growth. This is the zucchini bed and you can see the squash in the bed to the left. All plants are about 50% larger today than they were Saturday. I even have the smallest hints of flowers already. Hopefully we can beat out some SVB.
This is the original corner yard from the back end of the additional two boxes I built last year. Things are green, but still small. The only things we're harvesting now is lettuce, spinach and onions. We're doing it daily, however, which is nice.

This is the original corner yard from the vantage point of the fence line. You can see the colorful lettuce bed. It looks and tastes fantastic. I have seeds for what is supposed to be a heat resistant spinach. I may try some this year, but I do wonder how heat resistant is heat resistant for the GA summer....

This is the cabbage bed. To the left of the cabbage is bush beans which haven't come up yet. Along the trellis line are asparagus beans and cucumbers. I can't wait!! I moved the cucumbers back here to this bed since last year they produced not a single good cucumber while in the new beds.

So that's it! We're supposed to get another round of storms through here tomorrow. Hopefully they won't be too bad.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Photoshoot

We got some of the pictures from the photoshoot from this last weekend. Here's the back story - once upon a time (about 12 years ago) I taught a lovely lady who married another of my students at the time. Her and her sister have started a custom, hand made clothing line which I think I've mentioned before - Jilly B's. You can find them on Facebook. Anway, her sister married a man who's brother I taught. He married another girl I taught who is the photgrapher. So, as convoluted as it is, it's one big happy family. What's crazy about it is they all have children that are the same age as mine. I can't say enough about the dresses. They're so beautifully made and I got to pick the fabrics and the designs and went for custom fittings. Then, when I got the bill - it was less expensive than an outfit I'd buy at Wal-Mart. Seriously. I had her make both dresses adjustable in the arms and around the chest so once she grows out of wearing them as dresses, she can wear them as baby doll tops over a pair of jeans. Jilly B's even threw in a pair of jeans in a few sizes too large for now ruffled with matching fabric! The girl had a blast standing on these tires. This, however, was my favorite picture. This poor little girl cried the entire way through the shoot, but wound up having the most adorable pictures, didn't she. Here are all of the girls at the end. I'd say the girl is the tallest, but she's jumping in the picture. I did notice for the first time in this picture that she's slimming out and turning into a girl rather than a toddler. All in all, it was a beautiful day all around. I'm pretty proud and happy for all of these luck would have it...I'm happy to call all of them neighbors. ;) Ladies - the garden gates are always open. Help yourselves. The morning comes early, even though it's spring break. The kids just don't seem to understand. Sweet gardening dreams.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guerilla Gardening

I had one zucchini hill left over from planting my beds. What could I do with it? None of my friends or neighbors wanted it, and I couldn't just throw it out - it was a thriving plant! That's sacrilege. So, I did what I had threatened to do time and again. I guerilla gardened. I put that plant straight in the ground next to the air conditioning units without pomp or cirucumstance and reveled in my glory that I had eclipsed the confines of the raised bed gardener - I had planted in the ground. I was sly and kept the knowledge to myself. I was stelthy and did it while the kids weren't looking. I, was a ninja. And the man, thinking it was a weed, hit it with Round-Up.
Even ninjas get better breaks than this.

We'll see if it makes it. I doubt it, but it was fun while it lasted.

Beds Are Overrated

Sometimes, lunch gets the best of us. Seems like she does this a lot, doesn't it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm No Dan...

Dan's awesome. He's not only takes the most fantastic pictures, but he grows a beautiful garden and brews his own beer while commenting on others he finds in stores along the way. I love hearing about the all of the different beers he can find in Canada since most can't be imported because of the alcohol content. Besides, as I often tell him, if it's not Budwiser, the places around here seem not to take notice of it. I was mulling over his latest post, thinking how creative the craft brewers can be when I realized we have something very local and just as compelling. I ran off and poured myself a far too full glass of our local winery's product. When I say local, I truly mean local (the winery is 4 miles from our house), and local wine in Georgia means not grapes, but muscadine. There's nothing that tastes quite like a muscadine. It's tart, bitter and sour all at once. Muscadines can grow wild here in the south and many kids fondly remember picking berries off vines back in the woods, but I never really found a taste for them. The first time I tasted this muscadine wine, I was at my neighbor's house and he poured me a glass without telling me what it was. From the color, I was expecting it to be a pino or the like, but the smell hit me just as I took my first sip. I thought he was trying to kill me. I returned the glass, sputtered, coughed and accused him of doing no less, but then the flavors sat with me and I inexplicably wanted more. It's not 'good.' It will never compete with a fine wine, you can't add it while you're cooking and it's strong taste assures it will never compliment food well, but it is surely compelling for nothing truly says Georgia Summer like muscadine wine. Why is there never a moon pie around when you need it?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mishmash of Garden News

Two weeks ago, The Bean, my niece, got a cabbage plant from school and asked me to plant it. It's looking great right now and trying to form a head. It's one of those 50 lb suckers, so I don't know how large I'll actually let it get since I put it right where I usually can trellis some beans, but I'll let it get a good enough sized head on it to cook up for her. I planted some fortex beans to the left of it and I'll plant another round when I pull it out. I did, however, find my first cabbage worm on it yesteray. Now I know to look out for more! Since I started and am keeping the tomato seedlings outside, they're not growing very fast, but they are growing and not dying so it makes me happy. I'm just terrible at hardening off, so this method seems to work for me as long as I pay close, close attention that it doesn't get down to freezing at night. They'll pick up in growth in a few weeks. Here's the shocker of all shockers. The strawberries in the hanging pots were dead, dead, dead. Crispy and dead. I was entertaining ideas of putting tumbling toms in there this year when I leaned down to take the pot off of it's hook and found this! Iguess they came back! The boy will be happy. They didn't really produce good sized berries here, but a handfull of small ones is better than nothing. One of my students that I taught about 12 years ago has started a custom boutique clothing line for little girls called Jilly B's. All of the clothes are hand made and are just beyond adorable. Yesterday, the girl participated in a photoshoot for her run by another former student's studio, Tasha Fowler Photography. You can find them both on Facebook as well. The dresses the girls wore were just fantastic. They were classic with the touch of whimsy. Tasha's eye for detail and setting brought out the detail in the dresses and her way with the girls had even the most trepidatious of them eating from her hand. Literally. Jelly beans make anyone happy. ;) I cannot wait to see the pictures. The girl has never done anything like that before and she said she felt like a real princess. It struck me that the boy and girl have never had pictures made together. I'm going to ask Jilly B's to make the boy a white button down with the collar and cuffs one of the patterns of K's dress - I'm thinking the one that lines the jeans - and then get Tasha to take pictures of them together.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

The Corner Yard Presents....

A video for you! This is one of the man's bands. They had a day in the recording studio yesterday and had a great time putting some of their stuff on tape. Here's one of their songs "Heart of Georgia!"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The April Garden

Looks like my gamble paid off and we're home free for the weather. -Of course, now that I've said that we'll get hit with a super late frost, but I'm staying positive. The good thing about living in GA is that if we do have an early last frost, we can get in 2 if not 3 plantings of things like cucumbers and beans and can get a good jump on the SVB. The heat of July and August usually wipes out the beans and cucumbers, but you can replant them at that time and when they're ready to start flowering, it's cooled off considerably. Tomatoes are the same. When they stop producing in the heat of summer, I yank them and start again. It's not too shabby. So, today I put in the cucumbers and some beans - I'm trying asparagus beans for the first time, so I'm excited about those. One of my goals this year is to take monthly pictures of the garden from the deck to see how it progresses through the year. Here's the main garden on April 1. The cabbage is trying hard to head up, the garlic stems are thickening, the squash/zucchini are growing true leaves, the lettuce has been harvested from twice and everything makes me smile. The mid yard is looking great also. The girl's purple potatoes that she pleaded for, but maintains she'll never eat, were hilled today for what I think will be the last time or the dirt will overflow the box. The onions are great and I'm pulling some as I need them for cooking, so I don't know how many I'll actually leave to fatten since they all went to seed last year and ruined the lot of them. The broccoli behind them is struggling because the onions block a lot of the sun, but they'll make it.
The herb harden is plodding along. The basil seems to be pleading for a bit more sun and warmth, but they'll all do well. I'm most excited to see the horseradish in the front right box coming through. I need to leave it for a full year and harvest the next year, right? There's so much to learn!
We all made it to spring break, although I'm still not sure how. I'm so ready to spend my mornings in the garden with a cup of coffee and just watch things grow. I've noticed this winter that I bought very, very little produce from the grocery and never beyond what was necessary....I'm growing into a veggie snob. Things just look so beat up in the stores after you've seen what you produce in your own garden. The kids notice it as well. They're already asking when they can set up a veggie stand again.

The morning comes early - but since it's spring break I may just squeak out an additional half hour! Sweet gardening dreams.

Harvest Monday!

This year I'm going to weigh everything I get from the garden. I did it the first year but I didn't last year and I constantly wondered how much I got from the garden. This year I'm certainly weighing.

I've slowly been taking things from the garden to cook with again. This soup we made the other night had zucchini from last year's garden and oregano, basil and onions from this year's garden. It was good!

Then, I had enough goodness out in the garden to make two great big salads for the man and me - minus the tomatoes, of course. Those are store bought.

So, in conclusion, I've been harvesting and harvesting and harvesting from the garden for a few weeks now. And haven't weighed a thing. ;)

Things are still plodding along on the Keychains for a Cause end. Now it turns out most of the keychains we're doing are custom orders which doesn't hurt my feelings. I've also got class of 2011 ribbon coming in soon which makes me smile.

In case you missed the post yesterday, one of the man's bands spent the day in the recording studio this weekend. This is just raw film of one of the songs they put on tape. Rather catchy if you ask me.